Windows 3.1 Turns 20

April 9th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

Windows 3.1 - Twenty Years Later at PC World

Twenty years ago this month, Microsoft released version 3.1 of its famous Windows operating system. At the time, however, Windows could not stand alone as a true OS by itself. Instead, it served as a sophisticated graphical shell that ran on top of command line MS-DOS.

Windows 3.1 introduced many innovations to the Windows product line, including TrueType fonts, baked-in multimedia support, and even the first appearance of the dreaded Windows Registry (really!).

In celebration of this anniversary, I produced a slideshow outlining some of Windows 3.1’s most important improvements and features for PC World. If nothing else, the custom screenshots should serve as a trip down memory lane for many folks. I hope you enjoy it.

Read “Windows 3.1: Twenty Years Later” at

4 Responses to “Windows 3.1 Turns 20”

  1. Alexander Says:

    Brilliant and informative as usual!

  2. Donn Says:

    You know, we’re pretty much back to Program Groups with “folders” in iOS!

  3. CJ Lowery Says:

    I still used File Explorer as my default way to search for files well into the latter day XP service packs when Windows Explorer and indeed Windows file architecture in general made it useless.

  4. Ant Says:

    Wow. I’m old. 🙁

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